Testing the New Masterclass Fluorocarbon at Chew Valley
The new Fulling Mill Masterclass fluorocarbon has recently landed at the FM H.Q, Kieron Jenkins took the opportunity to test this premium fluoro on the magnificent trout of Chew Valley reservoir.
Chew Valley is one of my favourite U.K trout fishing venues and I always take the opportunity to book a boat (or two!) for opening weekend in anticipation of exceptional fishing, and so far, Chew hasn’t let me down. Don’t get me wrong, it’s often a stocky bash with plentiful numbers of fish all around the lake, mainly from a large pre-season stocking. But in my eyes, this is the perfect opportunity to blow away the winter-cobwebs and simply catch a few fish. With so many fish around it’s also a great time to test new fly patterns or maybe a new piece of tackle. In my case, it was the long-awaited Masterclass Fluorocarbon.
After testing the initial samples last year I was keen to get my hands on the actual production material, ready for a year full of competitions and pleasure angling. Being the first batch of fluoro, it needed to be tested, mainly to ensure it’s exactly what we wanted and there were no issues with spooling/strength or diameter – being a premium fluorocarbon, it has to be perfect.
When boat fishing on opening day the story is much the same across the U.K. Conditions are often cold and windy and the trout go deep in search of a warmer climate, so fast sinking lines and a selection of boobies was called for. I strung up a 20ft length of 10.71lb Masterclass Fluorocarbon with two flies spaced 10ft apart – this allows the top dropper fly to fish deep, and the point fly to fish higher in the water column, ideal for searching the depths when you don’t know exactly how deep the fish are.
My booby selection consisted of a number of colourful patterns as attractors with a handful of darker, drabber flies in case the fish become accustomed to the bright stuff. But to start, I chose a Cocktail Coral Booby for the top dropper and a 5cm Cat Snake Booby on the point.
My teammate and good friend Matt Russell was into the first fish of the day, almost first cast, taking the 5cm Cat Snake. Matt slipped the net under a feisty Bristol Water rainbow weighing roughly 2.5lb, a great fish to kick off the 2018 season.
The fishing throughout the day was similar all over the lake, we found plenty of fish in every area that we stopped, landing well over 60 fish to the boat and dropping a few. The mini snake booby was definitely the favoured fly fished around 12ft down.
The Masterclass Fluorocarbon certainly lived up to my expectations. Throughout the day Matt and I give the leader a thorough testing, to say the least. We both used the very same leaders for the entirety of the day, I managed to land 5 double hook-ups on the same leader, with Matt landing 1 – some of the fish were well over 3lb in weight. However, my leader did break at the very end of the day when I hooked my 6th double hook up – but, after landing over 60 fish and putting up with a whole days fishing, we couldn’t really grumble at that!
After witnessing the strength and resilience of the 10lb fluorocarbon first hand, for pulling or lure fishing it will certainly be my new go-to tippet material! I can’t wait to get out and try the lighter breaking strains for nymph fishing.
Click HERE to find out more about the NEW Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon